Getting into the Holiday Spirits

Well, I must confess that I had my first shot of alcohol last weekend. We visited a Reformed Baptist church in Toledo and they served real wine for their communion service. It tasted like cough syrup to me.

Several months ago, we were served free cordials with our lunches at a restaurant in Villavicencio, Colombia. Those smelled like medicine too, and we left them for the waitress and headed out in search for a coffee shop.

Cordials Villavicencio

Drinking has never been a temptation to me. I’ve grown up in circles where it was against the rules for even adults to drink including “in moderation”.

I  tried to read I Drink, Therefore I Am   by Roger Scruton, but it wasn’t compelling enough to keep me through the second chapter.

Now that it is my choice, I still don’t really feel like taking up social drinking of beer or wine:

~ I’ve got enough of a pot belly / apple body shape without asking for help from the extra calories that form a beer belly.

~ I’ve taken medications in the past that recommend not drinking due to possible liver damage.

~ It would probably offend some of my family and friends.

~ I’ve never been taught how to drink responsibly, and I’m kind of afraid to know how I would react if I unintentionally drank too much.

~ I’d rather spend my money elsewhere.

Just because I don’t drink, doesn’t mean you won’t find a bottle or two in my fridge. Yes, I’m the one that stands lost in the wine section of the grocery store wondering which white wine to purchase for a chicken dish, or where they shelve the sweet vermouth for Alfredo.

Yesterday I decided to stop at an even less familiar place: a liquor store. I couldn’t find a place that would sell me just one bottle of Guinness stout for a gingerbread cake I plan to make this month, so I stopped at a neighborhood shop on the way back from work. When I opened the door, the smell of liquor almost knocked me down. After the cashier finished checking out another customer, I asked if I had to buy a 4-pack or if they sold individual bottles. He pointed me to a row of wall coolers where I eventually located the stout. It wasn’t priced, but he told me it was around $2.50. The bottle was probably 3 times as much as I need, but he told me I could drink the extra. “Maybe chili will be on the menu in the near future”, was in my mind.

I asked about rum, too, as I headed to the cash register. You see, when we lived in Minneapolis, the seminary my husband attended had a rack of day-old bread set out for poor students to take home for free. Sometimes we were lucky enough to find a moist rum cake. Our seminary days are long past, but the memory remained, so I decided to take a crack at baking my own cake. The guy turned and recommended a clear bottle of Bacardi Puerto Rican rum. I had imagined something in a brown bottle thinking the clear stuff was vodka or something really strong, but I wasn’t eager to keep up the conversation. I walked the rest of the way home with my brown paper sacks.

Now for a recipe. The ones with the most reviews list “yellow cake mix” and “package of vanilla pudding mix” as ingredients: two things I don’t have in my pantry. Eventually I ran across this one that could be made from scratch. The only adjustments I made were to substitute a smaller quantity of almonds for the pecans and to only make the syrup to moisten the cake (I didn’t have confectioner’s sugar for the glaze).

As I whisked the rum, milk and eggs together the aroma wasn’t so sweet (medicine, rather), but one the cake was in the oven things began to change. We tried some last night with glasses of eggnog from a packet. Tasty, but I’m not sure I want to keep the whole Bundt cake to ourselves.

Rum Cake & Eggnog

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Categories: Beverages, Dessert, Food and drink | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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